After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel the OCLC Library Futures Conference (EMEARC 2020), which was scheduled to take place on 2-5 March in Vienna, Austria. Our primary goal is to help ensure the safety and health of conference participants and staff.

The escalation of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Asia and Europe has resulted in a situation that is changing rapidly and difficult to predict from day to day. Several speakers and attendees have advised us this week that they have been forced to cancel their plans to attend or are restricted from traveling. After careful analysis of the news, updates, and data provided by agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO), we have decided that the best course of action is to cancel the event.

We take our duty of care to members, speakers, and staff very seriously. With participants scheduled from 27 countries, we believe the decision to cancel is advisable and prudent. We also know that libraries and librarians are essential to preparedness as governments, universities, schools, and communities grapple with this serious health threat. We will be assessing library roles in the coming days and will share pertinent information accordingly.

OCLC will proactively reimburse conference registration fees for registered participants.

We sincerely hope to see you at an OCLC event soon and wish you all safety and health.

Lead your communities into the future

Your library is a critical catalyst for the communities you serve, whether students, faculty and researchers, or individuals with wide-ranging needs. But you also interact with related communities within your geography or institution—other departments, funding bodies, and partners. And then there’s your professional community—from local colleagues, to broader networks and organizations, extending to libraries around the world.

How can you provide leadership that creates opportunities for real change? What programs and services will transform the lives of the people and groups you support? What role should the library of tomorrow play, and what should we be doing today to prepare for those contributions?

Learn from library colleagues, OCLC leadership, and experts from outside the library community to:

Exceed user expectations
Meet evolving needs

Create measurable impact
Become indispensable

Lead with technology
Innovate with confidence

Build powerful networks
Achieve more together

Hear why fellow library leaders think that you should attend the Library Futures Conference

Calling all library leaders

This conference was created especially for current and emerging library leaders across all library types—academic and research, public, special, and others. We welcome all staff members from OCLC member libraries who would like to join this strategic discussion around library futures.

Please direct questions about event participation to

Member-driven programming

The programming and agenda are led by a Program Committee of respected leaders from the Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Council, which spans all library types:

Photo: Stuart Hunt


Stuart Hunt

University of Reading Library, UK

Photo: Jan Simane

Vice Chair

Jan Simane

Max-Planck-Institut Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Italy

Photo: Reinhard Altenhöner

Reinhard Altenhöner

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Germany

Photo: Adelaida Ferrer

Adelaida Ferrer

University of Barcelona, Spain

Photo: Sarah Hurter-Savie

Sarah Hurter-Savie

Nice Sophia Antipolis University, France

Photo: Beate Meinck

Beate Meinck

City Library of Reutlingen, Germany

Photo: Mohamed Mubarak

Mohamed Mubarak

Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar

Photo: Rocky Ralebipi-Simela

Rocky Ralebipi-Simela

Department of Higher Education, South Africa

Photo: Evi Tramantza

Evi Tramantza

Anatolia College, Greece

Photo: Matthijs van Otegem

Matthijs van Otegem

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

Photo: Anna Wolodko

Anna Wolodko

University of Warsaw, Poland

About OCLC membership

All libraries—both OCLC members and non-member institutions—within the EMEA region can take part in the OCLC Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Council (EMEARC). Representatives from OCLC member libraries are encouraged to attend member meetings and community activities, to share insights through various member forums and channels, and to participate in elections and governance. Learn more about EMEARC and OCLC governance.